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New insulation options for your home

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May 13, 2011

A home with the proper amount of insulation can make a big difference in energy savings and the comfort level throughout the seasons. It might seem like a big investment at first, but the money you can save on utility bills throughout the years can quickly make the return on your investment worth the cash.

Insulation options

There are three basic types of insulation you can choose from that do the job without breaking your budget. Each type can be installed in your home by a professional in a process that can take anywhere from a few hours to a few short days.

  • Cellulose insulation. The small particles of cellulose insulation make it a good material for almost complete coverage when blown into walls and other enclosed spaces. The cellulose is made of 85 percent recycled newspaper mixed with a 15 percent ammonium sulfate and borate mixture. The mixture helps deter rodents, insects, and mold while providing fire resistance. The dust from the cellulose is very fine and takes time to settle.
  • Fiberglass insulation. Pads of fiberglass insulation can be quite easy to lay down in your attic, but what about the walls? Fiberglass insulation blown into the walls must meet the density and depth requirements in order to give you the utmost efficiency. Because of the tendency to "fluff up" into the space without achieving the appropriate R-values, blown fiberglass insulation is best applied by a professional.
  • Foam insulation. Foam insulation offers excellent coverage behind your walls by getting into even the smallest spaces. Also known as cementitious foam, this insulation is derived from seawater and expands to create an almost 100-percent wall fill. This is the most expensive option, but it is also the best option for those who have allergies or concerns about air quality, as the insulation doesn't produce any dust.

How can you blow in insulation without leaving the telltale signs on your walls? Installers can often find clever ways of getting into the walls without leaving a visible trace. In the rare event that a hole must be cut in a visible area of your home, a bit of drywall repair and paint can make the area undetectable.

Insulation and energy savings

Even the oldest, draftiest home can be made warm and cozy with proper insulation in the walls. Once the insulation is in, look into an energy audit that might be able to pinpoint problem areas and help you reduce your heating and cooling bills even further.

A home with the proper amount of insulation can make a big difference in energy savings and the comfort level throughout the seasons. It might seem like a big investment at first, but the money you can save on utility bills throughout the years can quickly make the return on your investment worth the cash.

The Insulation Options

There are three basic types of insulation you can choose from that do the job without breaking your budget. Each type can be installed in your home by a professional in a process that can take anywhere from a few hours to a few short days.

  • Cellulose insulation. The small particles of cellulose insulation make it a good material for almost complete coverage when blown into walls and other enclosed spaces. The cellulose is made of 85 percent recycled newspaper mixed with a 15 percent ammonium sulfate and borate mixture. The mixture helps deter rodents, insects, and mold while providing fire resistance. The dust from the cellulose is very fine and takes time to settle.
  • Fiberglass insulation. Pads of fiberglass insulation can be quite easy to lay down in your attic, but what about the walls? Fiberglass insulation blown into the walls must meet the density and depth requirements in order to give you the utmost efficiency. Because of the tendency to "fluff up" into the space without achieving the appropriate R-values, blown fiberglass insulation is best applied by a professional.
  • Foam insulation. Foam insulation offers excellent coverage behind your walls by getting into even the smallest spaces. Also known as cementitious foam, this insulation is derived from seawater and expands to create an almost 100-percent wall fill. This is the most expensive option, but it is also the best option for those who have allergies or concerns about air quality, as the insulation doesn't produce any dust.

How can you blow in insulation without leaving the telltale signs on your walls? Installers can often find clever ways of getting into the walls without leaving a visible trace. In the rare event that a hole must be cut in a visible area of your home, a bit of drywall repair and paint can make the area undetectable.

Insulation and Energy Savings

Even the oldest, draftiest home can be made warm and cozy with proper insulation in the walls. Once the insulation is in, look into an energy audit that might be able to pinpoint problem areas and help you reduce your heating and cooling bills even further.

About the Author:

Shannon Dauphin is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. Her current home was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her necessary hobbies.

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